Colby’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life provides for the religious and spiritual well-being of the entire Colby community. Through connections across campus, our team of chaplains and advisors invites us to bring our whole selves–heart and soul, questions and convictions–to the Colby experience.
Whether you are looking to connect with your religious or spiritual tradition, to learn about traditions or perspectives other than your own, or to find a hospitable place for community and conversation, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life is here for you.
Pastoral Care and Conversation
Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life Kurt Nelson, Jewish Chaplain Erica Asch, and Catholic Campus Minister Charles Demm are available for conversation and pastoral care for all members of the Colby community. Be in touch if you are looking for a support group as they are formed often.
Religious and Spiritual Communities
Colby seeks to maintain a vibrant group of campus religious and spiritual communities. Please email Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life Kurt Nelson with specific questions.
Catholic Campus Ministry
The Catholic Campus Ministry serves Colby’s Catholic community and engages in dialogue with those of other faith traditions. It encourages those at any stage in their journey of faith to step closer to God. Prayer, worship, community, learning, and service are the main components.
Mass is celebrated Sundays and Holy Days at 4:30 p.m. in Lorimer Chapel (when Colby is in session). All are welcome to attend and encounter the Lord. Fr. Dan Baillargeon and Fr. Matthew Gregory of Corpus Christi Parish are the priests who serve Colby.
The Catholic Campus Ministry and Newman Council (the student-led Catholic club) host activities such as discussions, outings, retreats, prayer services, and service projects, providing a variety of ways for students to grow in their faith. Social and recreational activities to build community are also an integral part of the program. You can also connect with Newman Council on Facebook or visit the website for Corpus Christi Parish. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Charles Demm (firstname.lastname@example.org) is our Catholic campus minister. Be in touch with questions or concerns.
If you would like more information, feel free to contact the Catholic parish at Colby Corpus Christi Parish of Waterville, Maine: 207-872-2281, email@example.com Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life Kurt Nelson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Colby Hillel is the home of Jewish life on campus. From home-cooked Shabbat dinners and High Holiday celebrations to social events and learning, Colby Hillel provides a Jewish community and rabbinical support to students at Colby. You can join us each Friday evening for a short candle-lighting ceremony in Pulver Pavilion, stop by our headquarters in Pugh 252. Learn more on the Colby Hillel website.
Colby Muslim Society
The Colby Muslim Society gathers regularly with members of the local Waterville community for Jumu’ah Prayer, Fridays at 1 p.m. in the Rose Chapel, for holidays, and for occasional text studies and events. The presidents of CMS are Fatimah Ali and Wassif Hussain.
Please contact Sakhi Khan—Colby’s Muslim Advisor—for more information.
Colby College Chapel (Ecumenical Christian)
Join us Sundays at 6:00 p.m. in Lorimer Chapel for a simple Ecumenical (inter-denominational) Christian service of word, song, and prayer. Homemade dinner and fellowship follow each week. Our student-oriented congregation in beautiful Lorimer Chapel seeks to build Christian community through brief, thoughtful worship, in a thoughtful context that welcomes all. Led by Kurt Nelson, dean of religious and spiritual life. Fall 2017 theme: Big Questions Past sermons and reflections can be found here.
The meditation group meets in the Rose Chapel Mondays and Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The sitting period is 30 minutes, followed by reflection and discussion. Each session is led by Colby’s Meditation Advisor Jing Ye, a certified Focusing Oriented therapist.
Affiliated Christian Fellowships
Please note: affiliates are not employees of Colby College. They are recognized by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and work on behalf of an external organization with a particular Colby constituency. If questions arise, contact Kurt Nelson, dean of religious and spiritual life.
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at Colby College is a community of students dedicated to reaching Colby College with the Word of God and developing a community of believers and non-believers alike to form a safe and fun environment to thrive and love the Lord.
IVCF meets Thursday nights from 7:00 to 9:30 for dinner, worship, and fellowship.
Affiliate: Laura Corbett, email@example.com.
Global Friends Christian Fellowship
Building bridges of friendship between international and American students at Colby and families in the Waterville area community through food, fellowship, Bible study, and mentorship.
(most) Fridays 6:00 p.m.: Dinner at the Cruz homestead. Rides leave from Mary Low Coffee House
Affiliate: Rev. Cito Cruz, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff/Faculty Christian Fellowship
Prayer, each third Wednesday of the month, Rose Chapel.
Contact: Vivian Wood, email@example.com
Our robust multi-faith programs offer an opportunity to build community across religious lines and engage energetically with difference. Members of the world’s tradition—atheists, agnostics, and seeker—all are welcome.
A weekly gathering of a religiously diverse group of Colby students. We gather on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 during academic terms to build community, discuss things of importance, and plan events for the Colby community.
Faith in Action Alternative Spring Break
Students come together across religious and moral traditions to learn about issues of social importance, serve in meaningful ways, and connect with community leaders and change agents. Trip applications are due each fall, and each spring the group prepares and travels to Baltimore, Md., to serve and learn about food insecurity through a variety of community partners. Contact Lucy Soucek or Regina Martinez for details.youtube.com/watch?v=1uGoGorOWK0 Video by Reggie Huang ’19.
A student leadership team, building opportunities for community and cooperation across lines of difference. Meet this year’s multi-faith fellows:
Katie Carlson ’20
I’m a sophomore from Old Greenwich, Conn. I grew up attending unaffiliated church services with my family, during which I loved to escape and take my dog for a walk in the woods—a practice that soon became my own version of religion. These days, I identify as spiritual and I enjoy learning about a variety of religious traditions through Multi-Faith. I am deeply interested in how faith affects and connects people. Multi-Faith pushes me to consider the critical, existential questions we often evade in everyday life, and I love the community that we create within that space.
Tenzin Choephel ’18
Hi, I’m Tenzin. I’m a senior from New Haven, Conn., and a multi-faith fellow. I practice Tibetan Buddhism and have been attending Multi-faith Council since my first year at Colby. I joined the fellows so I could have an impact on and help improve the club that had offered me a space to discuss topics not often discussed in the wider Colby community. Through Multi-faith I was also able to attend an interfaith conference, which was one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career so far. The discussions and interactive experiences with people from different faiths and colleges created a lot of learning opportunities.
Iliana Eber ’20
Hello! My name is Iliana Eber, and I’m a sophomore majoring in government and anthropology with a minor in Jewish studies. I was raised as a Reform Jew, and Judaism has always been a big part of my life, though much more in a cultural sense than a religious one. When I’m not studying or at Multi-faith, you will likely find me channeling my inner Coloradan and adventuring outside, hanging out with kids, or working to smash the patriarchy with the Feminist Alliance. Since coming to Colby I have loved being a part of Multi-Faith Council, and I can’t wait for the upcoming year with all of you!
Regina Martinez ’20
I am a sophomore from El Paso, Texas, and I am a Roman Catholic (but it’s complicated). I am really thankful for being part of Multi-Faith Council because it is a place of great conversation about what really matters to us and why. I feel free and encouraged to question my beliefs and learn about other people in an intimate and judgement-free context. I am also pretty funny.
Christina Mouradian ’19
I am a junior from Providence, R.I. I study anthropology and I seek relaxation and adventure in the great outdoors of Maine. As a Quaker, I find fulfillment in our Multi-faith discussions about religious pluralism and personal spiritual practice. I became a Multi-faith fellow in January of my sophomore year and I look forward to guiding discussions that build the bond of understanding and empathy.
Weekly Events on Campus
Weekly occasions are open to all members of the Colby community. Come join us.
Exploring Meaning and Purpose
Hall of Purpose Exploration
The Hall of Purpose Exploration (HoPE) is a residential community dedicated to asking questions about purposeful work, meaningful lives, and community connections. A group of select sophomores—and juniors in residence for both semesters— will live together, build community, and engage in conversation about living on purpose.
The 2017-2018 HoPE mentors are: Jonathan McCoy, Asst. Prof. of Physics; Margaret McFadden, Provost; David Strohl, Asst. Prof. of Anthropology; Katie Sawyer, Substance Use Intervention and Health Promotion Coordinator.
Lives of Purpose
Lives of Purpose (LoP) is dedicated to engaging a select group of first-year students in local service and community building around active reflection on ethical and/or religious commitments. If you’re an incoming student who wants to be involved in the community, develop deep friendships with your classmates, and ask big questions about who we are and what we ought to do, please join us.
These programs provide faith-oriented, post-graduate opportunities and volunteer experiences. There is a wide variety of backgrounds and spiritualities represented in order to match you with the best possible position to fit your background and interests. Most of these programs are open to members of any (or no) religious tradition.
What Matters to Me and Why?
A lunchtime series of casual, meaningful conversations on things that matter. Colby faculty and staff take up the question, “what matters to you and why?” We eat and converse. Come learn what occupy campus leaders’ minds when they’re not in the classroom. Sponsored by Colby Student Government Association and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.
Religious Holiday Policy
Colby College is supportive of the religious practices of its students, faculty, and staff. The College is committed to ensuring that all students are able to observe their religious beliefs without academic penalty.
The College will enable any student to make up any course requirements scheduled during a religious holiday that is observed by that student. Students are expected to inform course instructors within two weeks of the beginning of the term of any religious observance that will conflict with coursework. The faculty member will then work with the student to find a reasonable accommodation that will allow the student to complete the academic work. In addition, no student will be required to participate in College events such as athletic commitments, lectures, or concerts on these holidays.
Approved by the faculty Dec. 4, 2013
Local places of worship
The chaplains offer the following directory as an aid to Colby students who would like to become a part of a local worshiping community. Local places of worship enjoy having Colby students worship with them and share in their congregational life. If you do not find your denomination or faith represented in this listing please contact Dean Kurt Nelson and he will work with you in locating and making contact with your religious tradition.